Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur: His Secret Bank Accounts, Stock Portfolios

Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur has bank accounts and shares in public companies and private business ventures that he keeps secret from the electorate and the Legislature.

Owen and his companions are able to do this because Barbados has no requirement for Government Ministers, elected members or their immediate families to file financial statements with a Conflict of Interest Committee or other body of public oversight.

This is hardly a surprise as the Arthur Owen Government won’t even post a copy of the Auditor General’s report on the internet for all citizens to see.

In any democracy, and especially a small democracy like Barbados, public oversight of potential conflicts of interest should be a high priority. Otherwise, the governing elites seem unable to avoid the temptation of feathering their nests. If we wanted to list all the examples in Barbados, we could start with the GEMS fiasco in the morning and still be writing at the end of the day.

So how about it, Mr. Prime Minister? Wouldn’t this recent cabinet shuffle be an ideal time to show openness and accountability by introducing a policy of full financial disclosure for those Bajans who can award multi-million dollar contracts with the stroke of a pen?

Hmmmm? How about it?

And while you are at it, Mr. Prime Minister, please have yourself and each of your new Ministers publish answers to the following questions:

1/ Now or at any time in the past, have you or any of your immediate family members maintained a bank account or stock portfolio outside of Barbados?

2/ Now or at any time in the past, have you or any of your immediate family members had shares or options to purchase shares in any corporation that has received any public funds from Barbados at any time?

3/ Now or at any time in the past, have you or any of your immediate family members received monies or any other assets from any corporation that has received any public funds from Barbados at any time?

4/ Now or at any time in the past, have you or any of your immediate family members owned lands that were either purchased by the Government of Barbados, or owned at any time by the Government of Barbados?

That will do for a start, Mr. Prime Minister. Oh, and please ask some of your Ministers to publish their responses as soon as possible – as we wish to check the veracity of their answers against information that we already know.

(And to our readers, keep those tips coming!)

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

5 responses to “Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur: His Secret Bank Accounts, Stock Portfolios

  1. Well you’ve got Arthur, and we’ve got Bush!

    Think we’re getting any info on his and Chaney’s holdings? Politicians have gotten out of hand, and are doing whatever they please – and the public is letting them get away with it.

    I’ve learned rather than talk the issues to death, just “follow the money”, and ask who is benefiting.

    This country wrote the game book on “how to get over on the people”. It’s a big money stakes game all over the world, and we all know who is benefiting. Everythings up for the higgest bidder.

    You pose very relevant questions, but the game players do not like to be questioned. Instead of answers you will get indignation, diversion to other political topics, and throwing the blame at others by doing a little house cleaning. And of course they will throw in some speeches about how this is all for the good of the people.

    This play-in-motion keeps the people spinning around the edge of the circle, while the players operate from within the center. Remember the game book.

    I had hopes of retiring on my favorite island in the sun, but the rock is getting too expensive to purchase.

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Ministers’ assets & politics

  3. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Welcome Delegates to UN Corruption Seminar - Barbados

  4. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Former Trinidad Tobago PM Basdeo Panday Jailed - Failed To Declare London Bank Account

  5. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament” - Calls For Regulation of Blogs, Call-In Shows On Radio, Television